Influence of National Culture on Knowledge Management Open Access
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Among the many factors needed for knowledge management practices to succeed, national culture is acknowledged as a gateway for opening up knowledge and imparting Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives across countries. When culture is favorable it can absorb new knowledge, assisting a country's economic success. Hofstede, (2011), an authority on national cultural issues and KM, emphasizes the role played by five cultural dimensions that can impact KM. Nonetheless, we need further experiential studies on KM in the context of globalization and opening of many borders in the world. This present study focused on three main points that would ultimately shed light on culture and KM. First is to study the influence of National Culture on KM. Second, to identify the differences in KMEs across the three countries and third, to recognize the differences in KMPs across the three countries. This study tested three hypotheses, the critical one being the hypothesis one: "National culture plays a significant role in impacting Knowledge Management Practices.(KMPs)" Hypothesis two was tested by evaluating differences in Knowledge Management Expectations (KMEs) across different countries and hypothesis three was tested by evaluating significant differences in KMPs across different countries. Both hypothesis two and three were further subdivided to evaluate differences in Knowledge Management Expectations (KMEs) and Knowledge Management Practices (KMPs) between Saudi Arabia with Taiwan and the United States. These countries were chosen because of differing practices and religious beliefs existing between them. Findings revealed significant influence on KMPs for each of the factors of national culture. As for differences between cultures, findings revealed that Saudi respondents' expectations of KM were significantly different from those of iii American respondents. Saudi respondents' practices of KM were significantly different from those of American respondents. Saudi respondents' expectations of KM were not significantly different from those of Taiwanese respondents and finally Saudi respondents' practices of KM were significantly different from those of Taiwanese respondents. The research study adds value to the existing body of knowledge because there have been very few studies that have compared KM expectations and practices across cultures. The study is unique that it takes a Muslim country and compares its KM expectations and practices to Taiwan and the United States. The study may help in improving senior management knowledge of KM expectations and practices and will aid in further improving KM in organizations, especially multinational ones. Keywords: Knowledge Management, Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity/Femininity, Uncertainty Avoidance. Note to reader: Is there any existing study focused on these three countries (No) Is there any existing study that looks to evaluate the influence of National Culture on KMPs? (Yes) Is there any existing study that seeks to investigate the differences in KMEs and KMPs across these three countries? (No) It was one of the first studies to focus on three countries with different cultural and religious backgrounds. Although, there are other studies, they do not compare Saudi Arabia, the United States and Taiwan or regions done by this study to specifically capture knowledge management expectations and practices.